The NFL schedule-makers have put together a pretty exciting Week 7—highlighted by the game between the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night—but that doesn't mean that there aren't a few games mixed in that are extremely lopsided.
More specifically, these games are all lopsided in favor of the visiting teams. There's nothing worse for a home team than getting trounced on your own turf, but there are three games this week in which that is a legitimate possibility.
Not surprisingly, not one of these teams is on pace to be a playoff squad come the end of the season. Quality teams don't lose all that often at home, and they especially don't get blown out in the few home defeats they may suffer along the way.
If nothing else, Week 7 will at least prove to us which teams in the NFL are the very worst.
Okay, so we already know that the Jacksonville Jaguars are the worst team in the NFL and will likely lose almost all of their games this season. That doesn't mean they can't play some close games along the way, though.
Unfortunately for them, this will not be one of those weeks. The San Diego Chargers, fresh off a victory against the Indianapolis Colts, are coming to town. Philip Rivers is enjoying a career season, rookie Keenan Allen is breaking out at wide receiver, Danny Woodhead and Ryan Mathews are doing well out of the backfield, and the defense was just able to hold Andrew Luck to just 202 passing yards with one interception.
The Jaguars, on the other hand, really have nothing at all going for them. It was a bit of a moral victory for them against the Denver Broncos, as they really didn't get blown out until the middle of the fourth quarter and were able to hold Peyton Manning to pretty pedestrian numbers.
That being said, they did allow Knowshon Moreno to cross the goal line three times. You can't win at everything, I suppose.
This game has all the makings of the biggest blowout of the week. The Jaguars can impress me with another hard-fought game, but they'll probably still lose. San Diego will come out on top, 34-17.
The Tennessee Titans are 3-3 and aren't a bad football team by any stretch of the imagination. Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't the best option for them at quarterback, but he'll quickly be replaced when Jake Locker returns from injury.
They play the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7, and unfortunately for the Titans, they get to play them at the worst possible time. The 49ers are coming off three straight wins against the St. Louis Rams, Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals, and in each of those games, the Niners scored at least 32 points.
Tennessee, we have a problem.
Colin Kaepernick still isn't completely right, but the Niners defense is strong, and the running game has been carrying the load. Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter have been dynamic out of the backfield, which has really taken the pressure off Kaepernick in recent weeks.
Against the Titans, expect a balanced attack. The ground game will help to set up Kaepernick through the air, and he'll look to capitalize downfield when possible.
Defensively, the Niners will manhandle the Titans. Fitzpatrick won't have an answer for the onslaught of defenders blitzing and putting pressure on him.
San Francisco will make it four straight 32-point scoring totals after Week 7. The Niners will win 35-20.
It's hard to like the Pittsburgh Steelers in their Week 7 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. The defending Super Bowl champs may be just 3-3, but their defense is still plenty strong enough to overwhelm the Steelers.
Le'Veon Bell will have a hard time getting things going on the ground, essentially leaving the fate of the game up to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. That's not an unfamiliar situation for him, but he's used to being in that position with some talent surrounding him.
Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders haven't been consistently reliable this season, and the lack of a running game has hurt Roethlisberger. Defenses have been able to predict the type of play because of how heavily the Steelers have leaned on the passing game, and they've been able to exploit this by sending multiple players on a blitz.
The Ravens are still a talented defensive team without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, and they'll be able to take full advantage of the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
Joe Flacco and Co. should also be just fine on offense. Flacco only has seven touchdowns to his eight interceptions, but he has thrown for 1,702 yards—an impressive mark for the Super Bowl MVP. Look for him to hook up with Marlon Brown early and often.
Baltimore will come out on top, 24-17.
Picks Around the League
Here's how the entire Week 7 schedule will play out.
|Seattle Seahawks||31-14||Arizona Cardinals|
|Miami Dolphins||17-13||Buffalo Bills|
|St. Louis Rams||24-16||Carolina Panthers|
|Chicago Bears||28-23||Washington Redskins|
|Cincinnati Bengals||23-34||Detroit Lions|
|Dallas Cowboys||29-20||Philadelphia Eagles|
|San Diego Chargers||34-17||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|New England Patriots||31-24||New York Jets|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14-28||Atlanta Falcons|
|San Francisco 49ers||35-20||Tennessee Titans|
|Baltimore Ravens||24-17||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Cleveland Browns||21-42||Green Bay Packers|
|Houston Texans||17-21||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Denver Broncos||38-28||Indianapolis Colts|
|Minnesota Vikings||24-30||New York Giants|